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What are the key components of medicinal cannabis?

Sep. 18, 2023 by SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals

What are the key components in medical cannabis?

Cannabis contains 545 chemical compounds, including over 100 different cannabinoids.

Clinical evidence has illustrated that many cannabinoids interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors to influence a range of physiological processes. To-date, the most widely studied cannabinoids have been THC and cannabidiol (CBD) which have very different pharmacological profiles and tremendous therapeutic potential.


THC is a cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis plant.  It is the main psychoactive agent, which means it affects a person’s mental state, causing the ‘high’ sensation.  THC works by stimulating cell receptors in the brain called cannabinoid receptors, of which there are two subtypes that have been studied: CB1 and CB2. By acting on these receptors, THC can induce a range of effects associated with reducing chronic pain, anxiety, spasticity, and nausea.


CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound, which means it does not alter a person’s mental state or induce a ‘high’ sensation. Whilst CBD’s mode of action is currently less clear, evidence has suggested that it does not directly interact with the endocannabinoid system and acts on a range of other molecular targets.  It has been shown to have several therapeutic effects in epilepsy, inflammation, anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia.

Compounds other than THC and CBD may contribute to the broad beneficial effects of the plant, including minor cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC).


THCA is the precursor to THC.1 THCA is considered to be non-psychoactive and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.  It’s also been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting.


CBN is a metabolite of THC.  CBN preferentially binds to cannabinoid CB2 receptors, which are mainly expressed on immune cells. It has been suggested to have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory activities.


CBG is a member of the class of resorcinols.
It enhances appetite and has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antioxidant benefits.


CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antidepressant-like activity.

Our extensive knowledge of the pharmacological activities and intrinsic medicinal properties of key cannabis-derived compounds means we are adept at blending the most suitable and effective ratios into formulations that:

  • Provide targeted, appropriate therapeutic relief
  • Interact uniquely with each patient’s endocannabinoid system and biochemistry
  • Are substantiated by ongoing clinical trials